Water makes up between 45%-75% of your total body weight. For many, especially active people, maintaining a healthy fluid balance can be difficult. However, keeping your body hydrated is vital for proper functioning.
Staying hydrated not only helps with your alertness, controlling appetite, and improving activity and sport performance, but it also keeps every day symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and dry skin at bay.
Are You Hydrated?
The simplest way to measure your hydration status is to examine the colour of your urine.
If your urine will appear to be a very pale yellow – almost clear – this means your body is hydrated.
If your urine is much darker – much like the colour of apple juice – this means that your body is dehydrated.
Are You Keeping Hydrated During Exercise?
To maintain proper hydration, it’s important to drink before, during, and after exercise. When heavy sweating is expected (yes, I’m looking at you bootcampers!), drink two to three cups of water two to three hours before exercise. Thirty minutes before exercise, drink 2-3 glasses. During activity that causes a lot of sweat loss, a few sips throughout or stopping for a 1min drink break every 15mins or so can also be greatly beneficial. Those who sweat less can drink every 20mins.
If you’re living a busy life, even simple tasks – like staying hydrated – can be difficult.
Here’s my 7 handy hints on staying hydrated:
1. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of water. Be sure to eat these daily, not only to stay hydrated, but to maintain optimal health.
2. Keep a large water bottle handy to encourage you to drink water wherever and whenever. Aim for refilling your 1L drink bottle at least once everyday.
3. Have a glass of water before each meal.
4. After each trip to the toilet, drink a glass of water to replenish your fluids.
5. Set reminders on your phone, watch, or email to drink every hour.
6. Track your intake of fluids to make sure you get enough daily.
7. Add a slice of lemon, lime and/or basil to your water to give it some flavor without adding any extra calories. My personal favourite is a small handful of berries – doubles as a yummy treat once I get to the bottom!